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BREAKING NEWS! – USGA BANS BELLY PUTTERS

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Get Rid Of Your Belly!

If you spent anytime this past year convincing your wife that you just had to have one more putter and that putter happened to be one that anchors to your belly...you might not want to read any further.  Maybe if you don't read what I am about to tell you...it can't really be true.  Maybe it's all just a bad dream.

Because, the controversy and all the debate between the USGA and the manufacturers is officially over.  The belly putter is now a thing of the past in the game of golf.  So you can open up that closet and stick one more worthless golf club away to collect some dust.

The belly putter fad or trend (whatever you wanted to call it) was HUGE for putter manufacturers.  In recent conversations I have had with a couple putter companies they claimed to be selling belly putters 8 to 1 compared to their conventional length putters.  Many have said they almost could not keep up with the demand.  Something you haven't heard from equipment companies in a long time.

"It Should Be Banned!"

As with most controversial issues the USGA deals with, there is no easy answer.

I clearly think they got this one wrong...I think the USGA has once again over stepped their boundaries.  But many players on tour disagree.  Ernie Els says the issue is clear cut, "It should be banned!"  Tiger Woods has even got in on the action...although this might be related to the fact that many of the guys on tour using a belly putter are passing him on the leaderboard like never before.  Even early adopters and supporters of the now illegal golf weapon like Colin Montgomerie are coming out against them, now saying he thinks they should be made illegal for use.

Peter Dawson the R&A Secretary told Reuters, "It does seem to make people who've perhaps passed their best days at putting better putters again.

History Of The Belly Putter Controversy

The belly putter was patented in 1965 by Richard T. Parmley, and got its first win on tour by Phil Rogers only a few years later...which is where the debate all got started.  It was brought back to the forefront in the 80's and again in 1999 when Paul Azinger used one to go from being ranked (111th in 1999) to (4th in 2000).  But...the debate once again seemed to fizzle out without much flame.

But in 2003, the belly putter picked up 8 wins on the PGA Tour and the debate was officially back on.  It was at this time that the USGA first spoke out about wanting to make them illegal for use.  Fortunately for many golfers the debate was again put to rest about as quickly as it surfaced.

In 2011 when the controversy came back in the limelight, something was different.  Personally I think it was the staff at the USGA that was different.  But whatever it was this time there is no looking back.  Their ruling today states that the belly putter will forever be banned from the game of golf.  This ban for professional golfers is effective immediately, (April 1st) and for recreational golfers starting (May 1st).

YOUR THOUGHTS?

So what are your thoughts on one of the biggest equipment decisions ever handed down by the USGA?

Happy April 1st!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Gainey April 1, 2012 at 6:17 am

Man I wish this were true…

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TheArtfulDuffer April 1, 2012 at 7:02 am

lol

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TheArtfulDuffer April 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

Now look what you’ve done…
http://www.freegolfinfo.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=2852443&mpage=1&key=&#2852443
You’ve started a panic on another forum.
Fantastic…

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SPY ZINGER April 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

April Fool’s SPY!

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JGolf April 1, 2012 at 7:54 am

I see what you did there… (took me a while though)

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Mike Zabroski April 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm

If it’s true alot of young guys with nerve problems will be gone.

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Marsh Lands April 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

April Fools…

Unfortunately the USGA isn’t in on the joke but still considers these legal… frankly on some levels I still believe the USGA is a joke. Lets just say Mr. Rugge and I have engaged in a few spirited emails.

I can’t for the life of me see a COR limit, driver length limit but yet there is a no restriction on the belly putter… unreal to me. But what do I know I only worked in the industry for a decade before I got out to actually may money…

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Keith Hann April 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm

This is the one thing I look forward to every year from you guys, and that is what April Fools joke will Mygolfspy think of….another great one. I can’t wait till next year to see what you guys think of next….

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robmailman April 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm

man holy sh@#% you mean i can’t putt with my 3 wood ? what the hell is going on here ! i am pretty sure this is flat out communist ! to hell with this i give up !

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Ray April 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I only whish this were true. I don’t think they should be banned. I think there should be a rule against anchoring. The length of the putter should not matter.

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Sven April 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Wish it was true – as long as the USGA limites the max shaft length on drivers they need to hold all other clubs in the bag to the same standard, otherwise they give people an unfair advantage when talking relieve or determining where to drop the ball.

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CEOgolfshop April 3, 2012 at 2:44 am

Ya got me! The belly putter could very well go away because the ‘anchor’ issue. A ‘real’ article is here http://golfweek.com/news/2012/feb/05/usga-r-may-not-spare-belly-putters-after-all/?print

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Dhuck Whooker April 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

To salvage your belly putter, first go buy a normal putter grip, cut off the long grip, strip off all of the grip tape, mark a line about 35 or 36 inches from the bottom of the putter (putter should be in playing position), and trim off “excess” . Put on new grip. Then place putter in your kid’s bag.

Give the scrap end of the putter shaft to anybody who complained about belly putters, and give them a few minutes to come up with an idea of what to do with it before telling them the obvious method of disposal.

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Scott April 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

I am a pro and play on various tours and have seen a lot of guys using these, to be perfectly honest I don’t care not one bit if they use them. I don’t think for one minute they are an unfair advantage. I personally don’t like them I think they are quite a skill on it’s own to use them!
If these were a easy way,quick fix cheat aid that I hear sooooooo many of people saying then why don’t they use them? They are not purists etc they are stupid because if it was that much of a game improver they would use them! They would win more money, more events and be better off!
I think the simple fact is they can’t use them and they are so petty they have to complain about something. Banning these is simply idiotic it does not fix your putting and it’s not for everybody.
I think what should be curbed and banned is all these super driversand fairways and hybrids if you want to complain about making the game easier it’s these things not the BELLY putter go back to the old small headed wood woods like the greats used to play! Then let’s see how many players fall by the wayside and how many of you think it’s unfair. I am an exceptionally long hitter I used to be 60-70 yards ahead of guys back in 96 now the same guys I blasted it past are 20 yards behind me!now I find this unfair and it’s all down to drivers that are 4 times larger and springy than before. I bet not one of you that complain about BELLY putters complain about gaining 30yards on your drives!
STOP complaining it’s just annoying listening to you whine on. All the guys that are winning with belly putters are great players with great swings that put the ball close so they hole putts belly putter or not they would still be winning.

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Bo April 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Scott, those were some good points that you made and I do agree the game has become easier as far as technology goes. The reason most people aren’t going to the belly putter is largely due in fact to inconsistency with their speed outside of 25 feet along with the same reasons they struggle with conventional putters.

In theory, because the belly putter is attached to a fixed point on the body it should be easier for the player to putt. This is partially correct but the belly putters still fall under the same rules with conventional putters such as the golfer will still need the skills of speed control, green reading, aim, and starting ball on intended line to putt phenomenal. Yes, the putter has a fixed radius and can help with controlling shaft lean, face angle, path, stroke vs. the conventional putter, but the player will still need to excel at the four putting skills in order to become a great putter.

The bottom line is regardless of what you’re putting with you need to know what your tendencies are and know how to fix them. One of the best ways to become a great putter fast is fixing your aim as confirmed by David Orr’s studies at Campbell University as this will lessen the manipulations.

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George Foley June 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’m watching the US Open and see players using “long putters”, but no “belly putters” because they are banned. Why not ban the long putters too.

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Danny Amonsin August 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm

There are a lot of good points here about the longer putters, but there are still advantages and disadvantages for both styles of putters which makes it fair game.

1) Long putters have the advantage with the anchor, however most people have a problem with decelerating with these longer putters. Bo is also right that distance control for longer putts aren’t as easy to gauge with a longer putter.

2) Conventional is easier to accelerate through your putt, however you don’t have an anchor to help you make sure you hit square,

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Richard Hart December 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

They are fighting the ban but Callaway is finding a way around it. I mean which is smart why fight the P.G.A. you are not going to win, your time and energy should be concentrated on practicing with a new “Legal” Putter. The P.G.A. and the R&A were fair enough to give 3 years advanced warning right?

The new putter from Callaway Golf is the Odyssey Metal-X Arm Lock Putter which anchors to the Fore Arm and conforms to the rules and regulations of the P.G.A. Check out more info here: http://www.vegasgolfpros.com/Odyssey_Arm_Lock_Metal_X_Golf_Putter

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Mike February 15, 2013 at 3:34 am

I’m pretty sure Ernie Els is against the ban right.

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